Freud's Theory Of Humor In Doctor Moorhead And A Patient

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Humor The common characteristic of Kim’s works was to make detectives notice that the mysterious phenomenon had been just an appearance, that is, to overturn the plot. What deserves attention here is Freud’s theory of humor, which has a remarkable analogy with Kim’s strange plot. He gives an example of humor as follows: “A rogue who was being led out to execution on a Monday remarked: ‘Well, this week’s beginning nicely’.” We feel a kind of humoristic pleasure here because of, according to Freud, “an economy in expenditure upon feeling.” The situation that ought to drive the criminal to despair might rouse intense pity in us; but that pity is inhibited because we understand that he, who is more closely concerned, makes nothing of the situation.…show more content…
A theme “burning” seems to symbolize the author’s message: “do not be serious.” It is worthy to outline Kim’s short story Doctor Moorhead and a Patient (1967) in this respect. Heroine Stella, who had made a car accident resulting in death of the victim, has been receiving doctor Moorhead 's counseling for several months. Stella confides the inside secret having impulsive aggression, and this doctor – he had sexual relations with patients several times – tells her that it is a natural instinctual drive and recommends its cancellation by killing animals or spurious suicide (reckless driving or gambling). However, she can’t get satisfied with them and kills him at last. The tragic ending of this story that is a kind of thriller, where Moorhead seems to represent sex drive (Libido), so does Stella death drive, is caused because she had believed his opinion. She should have ignored (burned) the theory maintaining the real existence of impulsive aggression. However, the question now arises: Freud discussed humor from the viewpoint of defense mechanism, that is, “the super-ego is actually repudiating reality and serving an illusion” for mental defense. In other words, the humorous attitude is optimistic escapism. For example, L. Slavin regards the following scene in Burn after Reading
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